New York hotel pool passes are the hottest ticket this summer

For American children, the allure of a swimmable body of water never really wears off, even with age. Nowhere is this more evident than in New York, where, as the heat of summer arrives, adults begin to fight tooth and nail for access to something more precious than gold: a pass. for the hotel pool.

This year, the need began to arise during the last weekends of May, when temperatures in the 90s drove city dwellers in droves to the Far Rockaways and Jacob Riis Park. I myself made the 1.5 hour drive on a Saturday to lie on the sand and read empire of pain, turning occasionally to get an even tan, but by the long subway ride home, I was completely exhausted. There had to be a better way.

Diligent search of pools is a necessity right now, especially given a nationwide shortage of lifeguards that could render a third of U.S. community pools unusable this summer. In New York, where temperatures frequently soar into the unbearable region, this could lead to a tenuous and deeply uncool situation.

In May, NYC Parks spokeswoman Crystal Howard told the New York Post that “at the moment we plan to open all the pools”, but an insider added to the Job that New York City won’t have a really clear picture of its pool workforce until July 4 weekend, when lifeguard training is complete.

While browsing the Internet, I discovered that several luxury hotels in Manhattan and Brooklyn, including the William Vale in Williamsburg, the Dream Downtown in Chelsea, the Ravel Hotel in Long Island City, the ModernHaus SoHo and the Margaritaville Resort in Times Square all offered day passes, easily accessible via an app. called ResortPass, for around $100 each. The following weekend I spent hours trying to get such a pass, but they had all been ripped off. The following weekend, I managed to get a Memorial Day afternoon pass to the pool at William Vale.

“Due to unpredictable travel behavior this summer (e.g. rising gas and airfare prices), hotels are opening up availability week by week based on their occupancy levels and spaces are closing. sell out fast,” ResortPass told The Daily Beast, also explaining that Memorial Day is usually the start date for the summer season. ResortPass is also working on integrating several other New York hotels onto its platform, which means more options should open up soon.

Places like the Williamsburg Hotel and the James are synonymous with a certain kind of sleazy, downtown glamor that evokes youthful style and sophistication; It’s not your grandmother’s Park Hyatt. The Times Square Margaritaville Pool, meanwhile, is a coveted destination if you’re a former blogger with a mile-wide tongue-in-cheek streak who likes to have a good time.

Soho House is perhaps the most laughable and privately coveted club; you don’t want to admit that you want to become a member of Soho House, but you do. A yearly subscription to Soho DUMBO House would cost you around $2,500 if you’re over 27 and $1,250 if you’re under 27, which is a whole different Pandora’s box.

The pool at the Meatpacking District Soho House is surrounded by preppy striped lounge chairs and lovely skyline views, but like the best exclusive spaces, the vibe is largely determined by the exclusivity of its clientele. “The club’s very specific 1% hipster vibe is quite hilarious in its hypocrisy: bohemian… but make it richsays a helpful article from “Hungry artist, but like, hungry because it’s fashion week and I’m on a diet.”

Truly dyed-in-the-wool blue bloods head to places like the Maidstone Club in East Hampton, the cool and stylish Beach Club or the trendy Crow’s Nest in Montauk; all of these places evoke the kind of insider status that knows better than to draw attention to itself.

Writer James Denin has a friend who shares valuable access to the North Flushing Pool Club. “And it’s a perfect pool,” Dennin said. “Huge, chill, lots of shaded seating. Catskill/Russia resort vibe, it’s like a window into mid-century vacation life. I love going there for his age, but also [for] empanadas at the snack. And it’s the only good pool I know of in town. Actually cold and deep.

I expected, perhaps unfairly, a perfect oasis at the William Vale, but, like the beach, there are pros and cons to hotel pool experiences. At the Vale, for example, non-guest day pass holders of the hotel are not allocated a spot by the pool, but instead are allocated lounge chairs around the corner in a marked off area. and shaded. Snacks and cocktails are ridiculously expensive, and forget about walking around the concrete rooftop without sandals; I almost burned the soles of my feet.

But the company was loud, the weather was perfect, and the pool temperature was brisk and refreshing. I didn’t even mind that a toddler kept throwing her Barbie into the pool and swimming around to retrieve her, essentially playing with herself.

This reporter contacted Kwame Nash, the general manager of the pool at the William Vale, by phone on Thursday, but he was unavailable to call me back in time to answer questions. So have many luxury pool attendants across the country, few of whom responded to interview requests beyond politely declining to comment. New Yorkers, however, are full of advice when it comes to getting smooth, gentle relief for the pool.

“I would say that at the height of these extreme heat waves, an invitation to the swimming pool is the perfect balm”, happy hour author Marlowe Granados told The Daily Beast. “But you should always make sure you take a bikini with you, because when [people] say see you at the pool, they always mean NOW.

“I snuck into William Vale a few times last summer,” painter Scout Zabinski told The Daily Beast. “I purposely went on a weekday since I don’t have a 9-5. And it was pretty busy because it was one of those terrible rare 100 degree days, so I couldn’t be in the studio where I had no air conditioning. So I walked in and acted like I was on the phone. Then, when the woman in the lobby asked me what I was doing, I nodded and indicated that I was meeting other people.

“Then I thought the coast was clear, but after I sat down on my own, the pool guys outside came up to me and asked if I was checking in,” Zabinski said. . “I told them I checked in with the woman inside and thank goodness she said I did too. I was scared all the time that they were going to fire me but THEN these guys came up to me anyway and invited me to join their cabin. I got free tequila because they were working for a mezcal brand of tequila and it worked perfectly.

If Zabinksi wanted to share anonymously, this reporter would have understood, but she gladly attached her name to the scam. “I’m pretty proud of that,” she said. “I called my mom afterwards and said, ‘Guess what your daughter did today!'”

Across the country, some private pools are gaining Holy Grail status. Perhaps the most fabulous was built for Hearst Castle, the former private residence of press baron William Randolph Hearst; it’s commendable, but we almost don’t want to spoil the waters with his Northern California-induced soundtrack

Membership of the Bel-Air Bay Club will cost you $85,000, plus monthly streams. And vogue touts Troutbeck in Amenia, upstate New York, as having one of the finest hotel pools in the Hudson Valley.

Back in New York, Soho House’s appeal remains intact, though, truth be told, their pools at Meatpacking and DUMBO locations aren’t exactly massive; they’re more havens for laying down six-packs, rather than oases of relaxation or places to swim laps.

Indeed, Soho House is the most legendary of posh pools, thanks to a scene in a sex and the city episode (“Boy Interrupted”, S6E10) in which Samantha – predictably, ultimately unsuccessfully – tries to get a poolside pass for her, Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda, while pretending to be an English socialite called Annabelle Bronstein.

The episode may be almost 20 years old, but the cachet remains.

“The problem with the Soho House pool is that the booking is upside down at each location,” said “a writer who works from home who thought she could work from Soho House, but some places actually shut down your computer. for you 17 hours.”

“To go to the pool you have to book 24 hours in advance on their little app which hides the rooftop pool booking option,” the writer continued, adding that you have to continually book for different sessions. timed at the pool. during the day.

“If you’re hot/cold enough, which luckily depending on the day I’m sometimes, you have to walk down to the check-in counter – I mean champagne trouble but it’s really annoying because it’s is quite an elevator ride – and talk to them softly giving you another bracelet for the next session.

Soho House did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Beast.

“Both pools are pretty small, for what it’s worth, but the one at DUMBO House has the sound of fans and construction machinery,” the writer continued. “And there’s always always always someone kissing in the pool in a very nasty way and someone else in a PBR bikini. Also the food, in general, sucks.

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